How To Form An Affiliate
There are obvious advantages for having an AIS affiliated club close by. But not everyone is close to an AIS club. It is very easy to form new affiliates. First you need to find a couple of AIS members close by. Our membership chair (email: firstname.lastname@example.org or see full contact details here) can help you if you do not know who the closest members might be. With only a couple of members you can start with a President and a Secretary/Treasurer. All officers must be AIS members but you can encourage membership in the local club without requiring they belong to AIS.
A form may be obtained from the Affiliates Chair (email: email@example.com or see full contact details here) requesting to create a new affiliate. The 2016 form (PDF) is also available on the AIS website. Essentially it says you agree to follow the ethics and rules of the AIS. New clubs do not have to pay the yearly affiliation fee of $30. Submit the form and your request will be approved by the AIS board.
Clubs determine when and how often they choose to meet. It is great fun to have a program and get to know fellow Iris lovers. Often lasting friendships develop and certainly there are great opportunities to share plants and tour gardens.
AIS has a packet that is very useful for recognizing and completing other paperwork for your Affiliate. This includes becoming a 501(c)(3) under the AIS group exemption. It includes sample bylaws and guides you to filing out these forms. This is the current (posted June 22, 2015) packet (PDF). It can be found from the AIS Documents page, which you should check to see if there are updated versions. There is where you can also find the AIS 501(c)(3) Determination Letter (PDF) that will be acceptable to banks, post offices, etc. for showing your non-profit status.
As an Affiliate of AIS, you are insured against outsiders who may attend your events and have some accident. For special tours, conventions or shows that you hold you may obtain a statement of insurance from the AIS Insurance Chair, which some venues require before holding events. Details and a form for requesting the statement of insurance are on the AIS website.
Some suggestions for regions on facilitating the formation of a new club in an area can be found in this PDF containing suggestions from Gary White.
We hope you will have many happy experiences as a new chapter and keep in contact with the various AIS chairs so that we can help you make the most of being an AIS affiliate.
Please let us know other resources that would be/would have been helpful when forming a new club and share your experiences. You can add them in the Comment Box or edit this page. Thank you!
-- BobPries - 2016-04-18